Taking a turn.

John “Burn Baby” Byrne legged it in the Mr Oil Wexford Novice Road Race, setting a new 6K PB (having never raced that distance before) of 20:59 and an unofficial Strava 5K PB of 17:26 in “warm by Irish standards weather (15OC).”

The Stable News managed to grab “the Barn Byrner” post-race:

SN: So how’d it play out, John?

JB: I was fifth overall (no category prizes) racing guys half my age (I’m 48, by the way). 😁 We got county gold, with myself and three other club-mates the top finishers. Only myself and the four guys ahead of me broke 21 minutes for 6K, which is a milestone for that distance among us amateurs.

SN: Fair play to you, John. How did you feel ‘bout that?

JB: Over the moon with the result, especially as I was injured from the start of January to the end of April with my right Achilles. It also went better than expected, as I hadn’t run quicker than a 6:18 mile this year, and I averaged 5:37 per mile for the distance. John’s coaching is really paying dividends.

SN: Bloody brilliant, pal. So, what’s next for you?

JB: Next up is the Wexford intermediate 8K road race this Friday evening, followed by three other county races later this summer: 

– County senior 10K RR, 16th of July.

– County master 10K RR, 6th of August.

– County half-marathon championships, 29th of August.

So, a busy summer ahead.

SN: Making up for lost time!

We also got a hold of Coach Stazza and his apprentice, Ally Smith, having a wee sparring match out the back of Stazza’s Stable HQ.

Stazza: Keep your hands up, Ally. 

Ally: You shoosht. Lucky I agreed to just box yer lugs.

Stazza: I told you before; I’d play peek-a-boo with you.

Ally: Well, gi’ it yer best shoat, ol’ boy, I can take it!

And with that, Coach Stazza battered Ally with a flurry of stinging shots, each one landing with precision, and “the Big Man” fell at the feet of his mentor.

SN: Excuse me, boys? Can you comment on John Byrne’s race for The Stable News?

Stazza: Not a problem. John was frustrated—big time—with his Achilles. But all good things come to those who wait. Don’t they, Ally? John’s coming into his own now; we’ll keep it easy between his busy race calendar and go from there.

SN: Ally?

Ally: Wh … wha … what happened? A race? Aye, John smashed it like Stazza smashed me; sub-21 for 6K is fair moving … I’m away to ice my face. Well done, JB.